Music creates beauty in the world, brings joy to audiences, uplifts our spirits, improves our vocal skills and creates a unified group effort towards a common goal. Beyond all of that, choir members learn to respect themselves and each other, their conductor, and their audience. Studies have found that group singing releases oxytocin, a chemical that manages anxiety and stress. Daniel Levitin, McGill University professor; “singing enhances feelings of trust and bonding”. While singing in general has its rewards, there are reasons you should join a choir rather than simply singing in the shower and leaving it at that.
There are three ISKL choirs: Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and ISKL Singers. They prepare a lot of different songs, and are deeply committed to the success of their performances. One of the most popular and amazing performances is the AMIS festival which is held in the Netherlands. To qualify for the team, students must audition by recording, which are judged by a blind panel of music educators. This year from ISKL, there were seven students who were accepted to attend the festival. The music festival’s objectives are to advance the education of school pupils and teachers throughout the world by developing their understanding, knowledge and appreciation of music.
Many overseas activities for Choir students are prominent while choir activities at the school are also active. For example, five singers and two instrumentalists went to the Netherlands at the end of September to perform in a music festival. There is also a music tour for Italy during the spring break. Ms. Meininger, vocal music director, says, “Every year, many students gain a lot of valuable experiences through their overseas activities. So I recommend students who are interested in traveling to foreign countries to improve their music skills these activities.”
Their first big performance is the GAP assembly, that takes place every year with all the choirs together. Every year, they do a fantastic performance for the GAP send off assembly and then perform it again for the parents. Senior Seung Hye, says, “ I’m very excited because GAP is one of the best places to express our emotion and produce a good result .” The choir’s repertoire includes three different songs. They also have another big concert at the end of semester where all the musical ensembles.
Another major event on the calendar is the Jazz Night on November 28th, where the students perform and make uplifting and inspirational music. ISKL singers are preparing very hard for the event. IASAS in the second semester is another great performance for choirs in which Ms. Meininger got members by having an audition on October. There are preparing for many impressive performances for ISKL students and their parents. So it is worthy of notice that we can enjoy our time on watching their beautiful performances.
Senior Min Ji Kim, one of the choir team describes, “Students can earn the foreign language of music notation, communicate our own humanity, better understand the poetic, improve our aural skills, improve leadership skills by joining the class. So I’m very happy that I could join in choirs.”
Ms. Meininger’s expectation towards each student is a little different, depending on individuals. She expects from everyone is to try hard and be supportive because that is the only way anyone can get better, be positive, and supportive of each other. Ms. Meininger describes about her expectation for her students, “The majority of what they do is to working towards their performances. So like a sport team, everyone has to work hard and has to contribute or we don’t have any quality on performance. When everyone does that, they are very good.”
Joining choir is the great opportunity for students to advance their music skills, global issues and cultural diversity through their performances. The study of music promotes high standards of musical performance in school pupils. With Ms. Meininger’s help, choir are develops their music skills rapidly and prepare for their wonderful performances.